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Attitudes of Hungarian students and nurses to physician assisted suicide
  1. S Fekete,
  2. P Osvath,
  3. A Jegesy
  1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
  1. Correspondence to:
 S Fekete, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pecs, 7623 Pecs, Ret u 2 Hungary;


In Hungary, which has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, physician assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia are punishable criminal acts. Attitudes towards self destruction and assisted suicide are, however, very controversial. We investigated the attitudes of medical students, nurses and social science students in Hungary towards PAS, using a twelve item scale: the total number of participants was 242. Our results indicate a particular and controversial relationship between attitudes towards assisted suicide in Hungary and experience with terminally ill people. The social science students, who had the fewest personal experiences with terminally ill patients, are characterised by the most permissive attitudes towards assisted suicide. Nurses, who had everyday contact and experience with these patients, were the most conservative, being least supportive of assisted suicide. The attitudes of medical students, the would be physicians, are somewhere between those of nurses and social science students.

  • Physician assisted suicide
  • attitudes of medical students and nurses

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